Treat for a trick? Of course.

I remember Halloween as a kid. I went out until I was about 14 years old (I was small for 14) because, with candy as a motivation, I would do anything.  We set out at sunset and came back around 10. It was a job for us. We took it pretty seriously. It’s a bit different now.

Like most holidays, Halloween has evolved a bit. It started over 2000 years ago when the Celts celebrated the New Year on November 1st. They believed the night before, was a special day when the living and the dead came together.  Flash forward 1000 years when the church, in attempt to subvert a pagan holiday, renamed the day All Saints Day, or All Hollow’s day and the night before was all hollow’s eve, which became Halloween. They proclaimed that All Saints Day was a day to celebrate the saints and those who died in the name of religion, sadly a mighty long list nowadays, but played down the living dead aspect of the celebration.  The Europeans still embraced the spooky tradition of Halloween and would dress up like ghosts and scary things in hope that the dead arising on that night would mistake them for dead too, and thus leave them alone. It became a night when children would play pranks on grownups and in attempt to be un-pranked; the adults would bribe kids with candy or trinkets, thus the phrase “Trick or Treat” was born. Adults could choose to give a treat, or face an inevitable “trick”.

When I was younger the trick or treat took on a new meaning. My neighbors knew I was a gymnast and often demanded I perform a skill, or trick, to get my treat. I would do flips, handstands or simple cartwheels to earn my yummy payout. I remember one time a neighbor had me hold a handstand and after about 30 seconds of solid, not moving and being upside down (not my longest) she told me I could take what I wanted from the goodie bowl since I had earned it.  However, when I have kids come to the house in my neighborhood, I ask them if they can do a trick and they look at me like I am speaking a different language; it’s like “hey mister, I said trick or treat now you give me candy.” It’s too easy and they get so much booty. With my kids the candy gets rationed out until the next candy dump opportunity (Christmas) and that again gets rationed until Easter, which pretty much lasts until summer.

So here is what I propose: Option 1:  let’s stop handing out candy and hand out coins. That way when the bag is too heavy they can come home and money can be invested or spent on something that the child will actually use or need. Do I need to actually say it? OK,  “socks and underwear”.

Not so much? Here is option 2: Let’s get the holiday to evolve for the parents. Kids don’t need candy. So let’s have people handout groceries and the kids can bring home the proverbial bacon for once. “Trick or treat!… Mmm pork chops.. Yessss!”.

Alright, Option 3: everyone in the community comes to Gymfinity and buys open gym passes for every kid that stops by for trick or treat. Can you think of a better treat? That way, instead of candy, they actually get some activity at a local gym, they have fun, get exercise and love their neighbors for taking good care of them.  This may seem a little self serving, but really? It’s better than candy.

OK, I give in, celebrate away and share the candy with the neighborhood kids. It’s fun and it’s always good to see the kids participate in the festivities. Stay in your neighborhood; don’t go to Maple Bluff because they hand out whole candy bars. That’s cheesy and it tells your kids that A. your neighbors are cheap and B. we are willing to do what it takes to get you lots of candy because candy is the important factor here. So go see your neighbors, build the community. And if a Gymfinity kid comes to your door, don’t think twice about asking them for a trick. A handstand for a Snicker bar? That seems fair.

Please know that I am a big advocate for fruit and healthy “treats” over candy. I will also hand extra treats to kids who say thank you. That’s just a heads up if you are trolling Verona for snacks tomorrow.

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